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Biography of Famous Wrestler Gorgeous George Part 2

About the famous American wrestler Gorgeous George, history and biography of the entertainer.

SIDESHOW OF POPULAR AND OFFBEAT PERFORMING AND CREATIVE ARTISTS

"Gorgeous" George Raymond Wagner (1915-1963)

In 1943, George, or "Gorgeous," as he was called, hired a valet, the first of various attendants throughout his career, to tend to his needs and care for his robes. Before matches, the valet would precede George down the aisle dressed in a morning coat, vest, and tie and carrying a silver tray with a spray gun on it. The valet would spray George's corner with Chanel No. 10 to disinfect it. He would then squirt the opponent.

George entered the arena to "Pomp and Circumstance." He strutted down the aisle surrounded by policemen. His naturally brown hair was curled and bleached blond by Frank and Joseph, two Hungarian hairstylists in Hollywood. Later in his career he also dyed his hair other colors, such as blue. He wore a starry net, which he usually presented to a lady at ringside. For George, a permanent was a solution to the problem of his long hair getting in his eyes during bouts. He had worn his hair long since childhood, because George Washington wore a long-haired wig.

His secret weapons were gold-plated bobby pins, which he used to keep his hair in place. He called them Georgie pins and distributed them among his fans, who fastened them to their lapels as a token of their affection. He sometimes pulled one from his hair and pretended to poke it into his opponent's thigh. His first set of Georgie pins cost $85 a half pound.

After the valet removed George's robe to reveal his shocking-pink wrestling trunks and white shoes, he combed George's ringlets. Between falls, George primped.

George inspected the ring carefully before each match. His obsession with cleanliness resulted from a severe infection he once contracted from a mat burn.

He refused to allow the referee to perform the traditional ritual of running his hands down his body to check for grease until his valet sprayed the referee's hands with perfume.

George was suspended in both New York and Chicago for disputing a decision with a referee, but that didn't seem to bother him. In Chicago, he tore the shirt from the referee's back. The referee was Jack Dempsey.

He invested $250,000 in the 195-acre Gorgeous George Turkey Ranch in Beaumont, Calif., where he produced Gorgeous Broad-Breasted Turkeys. At the National Turkey Show in Long Beach, Calif., in 1951, he showed two turkeys with their feathers dyed orchid in an orchid cage with orchid drapes. His valet sprayed the turkeys every two minutes with Chanel No. 10. George himself promoted his turkeys, and fans turned out to see them.

He also was responsible for Gorgeous George dolls, Gorgeous George strength belts, Gorgeous George bathrobes, and a book demonstrating judo defense for women. He was featured in one motion picture, Alias the Champ, made by Republic in 1949.

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